Chapter 181818199

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Chapter NumberVI
Chapter TitleGLEN INNES. from the Week of Saturday last.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article181818199
Full Date1878-03-16
Page Number20
Corrections0
Word Count3368
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934)
Trove TitleThrough New England. A Holiday Trip
article text

THROUGH NEW ENGLAND

* A HOLIDAY TRIP. 'v

BY A BOHEMIAN.

CHAPTER VI. .

GLEN I.NWES.

'(Continued from the Week of Saturday last.)

WE reached Glen Innea at about a quarter past five in the afternoon. This only gave time for a. thorough good . wash, a change of raiment, and a short rest before dinner. After dinner, when ono has had twelve hours' coach

travelling, the most sensible,, thing is to select. the easiest chair on the,balcony, and go in for a long. smoke and; a gossip with any fellow guests who show a disposition to be sociable, and at good inns in provincial towns nearly all

the guests are" disposed to be sociable. Now;

arid again you meet with some full-blown v aristocrat who has made a fortune by keeping a. cheesemonger's shop, or making soap' and candles, or selling bad grog at a high price on * a diggings, or some equally elevating pursuit;

and who is frightened out of his life that you ' ^should suspect the fact. Such a man, especi

ally if travelling with his wife or grown-up' daughters, ie exceedingly cold an J reserved5 at

-his hotel. He seldom talks, and when he does ' nt is'to-mangle the1 Queen's jroiul English^ : without the slightest compunction; in a pom- " pous puffy way that ih vury amusing. He - exasperated Ins " h'&" in the most cold-blooded

and deliberate manner, and misuses and ubusc* » .big words in a way to. make;the. late Dr.. Samuel Johnson writhe in his grave. - :.????

' »Tou meet with very few of this sort ia New England. We had none at our, inn at Glen Innes, but, on the contrary; three or four gentlemen who were well-read and Had seen

enough of the world to understand and appre- » ciate the duty and importance of making them-1 . selves agreeable. We were a very happy little family-the lodgers . at the " Commercial," Glen Innes. We fetruck up an acquaintance over the soup before we had been in the dining-,

room five minutes, and by the time the dessert ? was well on the table it seemed to me that I must have known the other gentlemen at the

table some year3 ago, and had just found them . again after a rather long separation-we were so

jolly and confidential. Most of them knew Bris- . bane, or a number of peoplethere, or were inte rested in Queensland politico, in a manner that proved how much better some things look at a dis tance than they do when you are closeto them. Or they were watching with interest the growth of this colony in population and wealth, and

were anxious to compare notes with some- . body fresh from the place. And then when we . retire , to the balcony to smoke, we go from Queensland or Australian politics to literature, defend our favourite poets or novelists agaiust

the assaults of unappreciativc critics, give . home-thrusts arid knock-down blows to the favourite poeta and novelists of those who 'do; not worship at our literary shrines, and

when this - subject gets tiresome, .. we , discuss Darwin, Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and the modern philosophers, until it is the

unanimous opinion that it is " about a fair . thing to go to bed now." - Those . who do no join in the discussion perform the functions of audience, umpires, and referees, aud seem to enjoy it as much, or rather more, than the talkers. Sometimes the subjects of discussion are varied, and we canvass British, Freuch,

German, Austrian, or Russian 'politicd and. statecraft, and decide the Eastern question in a manner that would astonish Bismarck, An drassy, Gortschakoff, Lord Derby, and all the other European statesmen who are just now puzzling their brains over this problem.

All this is really very enjoyable, and. seems to be trebly so at these New England inns I beg the proprietors' pardon, " hotels"-after one has done a long stage coach journey and washed, and dined, and has no anxiety or care about " to-morrow's leader," nor those corres pondents' letters, which aro too good for the waste paper basket, yet scarcely suitable for

the correspondence column, nor the favourito . extracts which the overseer cannot find room for, nor the thousand-and-one. other troubles which beset the man who has to find " copy" for a daily newspaper. And here I may as well say, oneo for all, that the stopping pluc*a at all these New England towns aro simply excellent. The" u travellers'" part of th«

Ihouso is'. in all cases well out of tho way

.of tho iar and the rooms specially dovoted

*to drinking; tho rooms are larjjo, wall burnished-luxuriously furnished in some .cases'; there is an excellent table kept; the landlords and landladies show a real dosiro "to mako their gucstB feel thoroughly comfort able and " at homo"; the servants are atten tive and obliging, and the charges are moderate. If I over mako my " pile," and am able to live ?without work, which is about as unlikely a thing as could woll bci:uaginod,T have sorious thoughts of ependinir my days in travelling from- ono Now England town to auothcr, slayiug for a week or two at each of the prin cipal hotols in turn.

Wo arrived at Glen Tnnes on Friday night, .mid I was delighted to learn that tliere was no coach to Arinidulo until tho following Monday morning. After a night's refreshing slumber -theroarono mosquitoes at Glen Inncs-which Was continued until long after; sunriso next morning; and after a good breakfast and morning.pipo, I Btart off to explore the town and suburbs.. Tho moro I see of both tho tootter I like them. Tho principal portion. of tho town is on tho eido. of a swelling hill, although . hill is scarcely the naino for nuch a .very modest riso. But, away back from tho main-street, aud parallel to it, is awater-courso, which oven,, after , this - long drought doos manage tor/iise a little stream of water. Many of the houses in tho main street havo gardens attached to them with all sorts of English trees growing, in tho fonco-elms, poplars, and tho liko-and boyond thoso fonces are old fashioned English fruits, apples, pears, plums,* damsons, and English flowers, hollyhocks, spring flowers, or "polyanthuses," as tho florists call them, oxlips, larkspurs,- Canterbury bolls, gilly flowers, aud a whole host of other dear old favourites. Back from tho main street,-1 found such a garden, with a rail hawthorn hedge, thick aud close, nod as, healthy. looking' aa heart could desire,- with sweofcbriar growing in among it and scenting tho air with a delicious porfume, that brought back tho memory of old days to mo in a manner, that waB almost pain ful in= its .excess of sweet. recollections. . I fooled rouud that quicksct gardon> hedge, the elm-lreey, and thoso old English fruits, trees, aud flowers, until I got quite ashamed of my self, fori saw the peoplo of tho house watching me very closely : and; suspiciously, evidently convinced in their own minds that I wanted to sleal something, or at all'evonts that I'was ,c up to. no good." I am not particularly shy as a general rule, but I could not put a face on to go and ask tho good people ,who owned that - cot tage to let me wander through tho garden by myself, although I felt a strong temptation to make the request. Ifancicd that I could havo sat under ono of thoso olm-trees for half-an-hour, surrounded by* that hawthorn and sweetbriar hedgo,and those old cottage garden flowers, and cheated myself;, into .the belief that I was in a- cottago garden that X wot of in tho heart of "Warwickshire, where I used to steal gooseberries aud currants'nearly fifty years ago. During* my two days' stay in Glon Inncsl wont rouud by that back stroofc several times.to look at that hawthorn hodgo and tho elm trceB and the.gardcn,'although1 the sight of it always

made mo just a little spooney. If I visit tho , town ,again t am pretty certain to tako an i .early. opportunity after my arrival to step round again to sea how tho old place is getting

on. Hang it all! Ono cannot always keep a i stiff upper lip, and maintain that roposo of i manner in public which is supposed to bo tho

"correct thing", for middle-aged men, " Bo- i homians," as well as moinbers of " society." i

Glen Innes, as I mentioned last week, has a i Jrasonic Hall. Ot tho two it is a moro uu- i sightly pieco of architecture than tho Brisbane i Masonic Hull, although persons who havo not i Tibilcil Glen Iimea might not credit il.. Inovor j remomber . to havo soon a really haudsomo i Masonic Hall anywhero. I should likoto know how this is accounted for. Masons, who

havo fauch a roveronce for architecture\that i they havo established on its principles a religion and a syhtem of morality, ought surely to show their consistency by having bountiful hulls in i which to celebrato thoir secret rites-but tlioy 1 have iwt, so far as 1 havo boon able to discover

-and 1 should like to know tho roason why. . i

There is here also a Church of England, a i Koimin Catholic Church, aud a Prosbyterian Chutcli, all of. tho same size, all built of blue buuk, in tho ;sauio stylo of urchi-i ttxturo, and all bo much alike that tho*. Church of Eiiglniul people ' havo had to" I>ut a little-porch in front of their church as a suit of "brand ' to distinguish it from the OIIili two. x'lho Church of England and tho parsonage attached aro charmingly situated on.tlio rising ground on the opposite sido pf tho watcr-cour.so to tho main strcot.

Tltoro are othur public buildings, also built of hhio brick, and looking neat aud spruco, as becomes the public buildings of a young and rising'town. Tho post and' telegraph oflicbs aro all undor tho same roof, aiid on tlio sauio or ou tlio adjoining allotment is the coinUhou.se> police-oflico and look-up. ; Tho hospital is on tho rising ground across tho water courso boforo mentioned. This town is a municipality, and there is a town hall, or * place that does duty

lor 0110, and a school of arts, both of which I was to havo visited, but could not find timo. Tho Glon Ilines Music Hall iB next door to our hotol, as we Boon discover after arrival, by the fact of a Panorama being on exhibition at the time of our visit, and the "band " ask leavo to play. on our balcony after dinner, to call th e people to the nhow. They do play for a qnartor of an hour or so, and play very well too, the loader on a comet being really ii master of

: tho instrument. , ' /

But, perhaps, aftor all, tho most distinguish ing fcaturo in tho main-strcoj of Glen Innes is jils hotels. Tho town was uudor a cloud at the itimo I was there,"as tho drought had checked i agriculture, nearly, stopped the tin mining at fVogotablo Crook, and caused; a general dulneHS. 1'his might be tho. reason why the " Royal" was shut up, but there was talk of . it boing opened again shortly. It is larger than any hotel in Brisbane,' and " TattbraaH's," which was just on tho point of boing completed, is much larger than tho Hoyal. In addition to tlieso there are a num bor of large hotels open, and apparently doing a good fair trade. There is a Temperanco Hall here, hut if the teetotallers are strong in numbers they aro very retiring, for I sought in vain for a

coffee shop at which'to get a refreshing cup of tea or coffcothat frightfully hot Saturday morning", and was therefore compelled to iall hack upon Bass and C'o.'s "pale." "

j Towns, liko persons, havo a certain amount of individuality about them, which impresses itself upon your mind when seeing them for tho first timo, and helps to mako up your opinion of each. For instanco, one man you meet with is a lather dull, sleepy,: good-natured' follow,; means no harm to anyone, -and is quite willing^ to believe that nobody means any harm to him. You know at onco what to expcct of that man under-any given act of circumstances, and could predict, with tolorablo accuracy, what courso of conduct lio would pcrsuo. You come in con

tact with another who is all. life. and energy,: good-uaturQd, and generous to a fault, hut keen at a bargain, and fully determined not to let anybody got the best of him, rather disposed to got tho best of othcis if it can bo done, and then laugh at thom afterwards. Well, Tonter field impressod mo with the opinion that it wits the dull, good-natured fellow, and Glen Innes that it waH the enorgetic, ? go-ahead, pushing chap, who would treat you generously, and get the best of. you in a bargain, with tho saint hearty zest and freo-handed jollity. Glon Innes is a particularly lively , place. The streets, or rather tho main streot, is never free from foot passengers, horsemen,and vehicles of . .onOr -kind?, . or . .other .during any part . of ? th o day. . There is tho bushman with his swag, billy, and pannikin, evidently passing .through to somo placo beyond, and calling in hero for a day's spell and to get fresh stores ;: tho Chinaman or tho European digger, going to or coming from tho Vogctablo Creek tin field ; tho horso or bullock dray with loading for Armidale, Tonterfiold, Inverell, or Grafton; the one-horso dray or. spring-cart of tho farmer or freo solector of tho district with produce, or taking back supplies; and horse men without nnmbcr on. ono errand or other. And, a noticeable thing about tho horses ono sees hero, tho hacks and cobs especially, is that they aro all of a good fair stamp and in toler able condition. I.can conscientiously say that ^during tho Saturday and Sunday I remained iir Glen Innes I never saw a downright bad looking liorso out of some hundreds which passed along the street. I mentioned tho matter to somo natives, and they assured mo that tho New England cobs and hacks have an excellent character wliorovor they are known.

There aro two newspapers published in tho town, and, as a matter of course, I soon find my way to thoir doors, ono of which happens to ho closed, as it is " off day" at that shop, but the oflico of tho Glen Junes Guardian is open, and I go in and fraterniso with tho editor, and " talk shop" for half an hour.' Thon wo go out and hunt up his Worship tho Mayor and ono or two other leading citizens, and wo celebrate the meeting-celebrate it at intervals during tho day, arid liavo a final colobration last thing at night, talking and comparing notes on all sorts of subjects.' His "Worship is a warm-hearted Welshman, who promised to bring his buggy forme noxtday, after churoh was ovor, and drive mo round tho suburbs to see tho placo from outsido, a promise which he most faithfully performed until a hailstorm drovo us back to his liouso. Hospitality to strangers is regarded as a social duty all over Now England, so far as my limited cxperionco goes, and in no placo

more than Gleu Innes.

Tho main street is formed and I think mac adamised, tho footpaths aro korbed, and tho water channels mado and paved, und some of tho other streets aro in process of formation. But judg ing from the oll'ect of tho hailstorm on that Sunday afternoon wo were there, I should say that tho streets aro not pleasant to walk in im mediately after a soaking rain. The mud is wonderfully tenacious, roninding ono of Too woomha or liockliamptou mud twolve or thir teen y«nrs ago.

Glen Inuos promises to bocome a town of very considerable importance. It is tho

centre of a large and rich agricultural district; the tin mines at Vegetable Creek arc still in process of development, and liopcB aro entertained tliat they will out-rival thoso of "Warwick and Maryland; and it is within reach of two markets, namely, Warwick and Armidale. "When the Queensland railway is extended to Stanthorpeit ia hoped that the Queensland market will be a more profitable one than it has hitherto been, the rate of carriage now eating up nearly all the profits. , Tho consequence is, that Armidale merchants

at present enjoy almost a monopoly of the trade with hero. Grafton is a port near enough to send tin orb and obtain supplies from, but it is no market for agricultural produce, and the road is u very bad one, and cannot be made good, so that tho cost of carriage in this direc tion is a very serious item. .

This, tho highest part of Now England, is in very truth a land of com and wino, and "oil" might be added if any oue thought it worth while . to cultivate the olivo for com mercial purposes. " The wheat harvest had been reaped when wo passed through, but we saw tho white stubble shining in the sun, field after field of it, and one or two fields, where tho barley was in V shock," or where the reapers were bending to their , work cutting the golden grain. This again reminded us of Old England.

The people of Glen Innes, as might bo expected from what I have already said, are an energetic, enterprising Tace, and aro not dis posed to hide any of their light under a bushel. They have annual races, at' which most liberal prizes aro given, and excellent sport pro vided. His Worship the Mayor drove mo out to sec the racecourse. It is a portion of the Beardy Plains, at tho head of which Glen Innes stands, and is naturally a magnificent course in good weather. It seems to be a favourite resort for sheep travelling for grass, judging from the huge flocks on it that Sunday afternoon. There is also a grand pastoral and agricultural show held here annually, lasting two or three days.

Residents of Invereli assure mo that Glen Innes is not a patch upon their town, which is bound to cut out Glen Innes in'the lung run I am sorely tempted to make a trip to Invereli and seo what I can see with my own eyes; but it is forty miles away, and I could not get thcro and back under three days, because the coaches run at inconvenient times, and the loss of three days would protract my journey over Wd to an unreasonable length; so I have to give up tho idea. But however, promising Invereli may be,: I do not think it will wipe: out Glen Innes. If you remem ber, Ipswich was going to wipe out Brisbane twenty years ago, and then when Ipswich could not do it, Cleveland was to manage the trick, but Brisbane yet remains. Cleveland has dropped down to the permanent position of a vory nice quiet little watering placo, and Ipswich is ah important inland town, but not the metropolis. Towns are not wiped out by aiiy such process as was attempted here, and certaiuly cannot be voted either in or out of existence by any number of persons. To bo suro Glen Innes is an upstart among the towns of New England, and has gono ahead rather too fast, which has caused a reaction, but this will'only be temporary. At least, that is tho conclusion wo arrived at unanimously, after fully discussing the whole subject on tho bilcony of tho Commercial Hotel in the very centre of' the town, and by the light of the knowledge and experience of the best load

authorities.

(To be continued.)